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Gay Group Goes Public to Celebrate DADT Repeal – Members Leave in Response

September 20, 2011 By: jaysays Category: Thought of the Gay

Gay San Antonio Facebook GroupThe Facebook group titled “Gay San Antonio” will be marking the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell by “coming out” from the “private” setting to the “public” setting on Facebook.  When the Administrators formed the group, they originally set the privacy settings so that, without an invitation, the group postings and its members remained hidden.  The chosen method of celebration seems appropriate and symbolic, but not all members support the change. Several of them announced that once the group goes public, they will be removing themselves from it for fear of retaliation by their family, co-workers and friends.

One of the group members who is leaving stated:

Sorry I can’t be a part of it but being a part of a political organization like this in the public eye will greatly harm my credibility at work. I’d rather be semi-in-the-closet and employed than openly gay and broke.

This is a very real and reasonable fear shared by many. “Coming out” of the closet as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender is far too often a career killer.  It’s no wonder that the repeal of DADT is so bittersweet for me.  I see through the rose-colored, celebratory glasses and look directly at our oppressors and oppressions ruling us with fear.  The reality that our lives are still governed by this fear is a grotesque ode to the heavy toll denying dignity and freedom to a people has on their lives.

So to all members of Gay San Antonio (past, present and future), I offer you this video of Ms. Nina Simone, answering the question, “What’s freedom?”:

HRC’s Eric Alva Speaks about DADT and Obama’s Defense of Policy

October 17, 2010 By: jaysays Category: DADT, Featured

"We Will Not Be Silent." Don't Ask Don't Tell ("DADT")Marine Staff Sgt. Eric Alva (Ret.) was the first American wounded in the war in Iraq when, on March 21, 2003, while traveling to Basra, he stepped on a land mine.  In 2006, Sgt. Alva began working with the Human Rights Campaign, the “largest” LGBT Rights organization, to speak out against the military’s now (but likely temporarily) halted “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy (DADT). He now tours nationally for the organization and continues to lecture about DADT.

On Friday, October 15, 2010, just days after a Federal Judge ordered an injunction against enforcement of the unconstitutional policy, the Gay and Lesbian Association of San Antonio College hosted a lecture by Sgt. Alva as part of their Coming Out Week events.

Sgt. Alva began his lecture by discussing his tenure in the military and its abrupt and tragic end, with the triggering of the land mine.  He went on to explain that, after his medical discharge, he contacted the HRC to find out how he can work with them to educate and inspire a repeal of DADT.  Not only did his lecture included his personal experiences working toward a repeal, but he also used the opportunity to address the division within the LGBT community, stating that he never refers to us as a “community,” but instead prefers to refer to us as a “populace” because of our varied lifestyles, opinions, culture, etc.

It is very likely that the Department of Justice will appeal the lower court’s decision to the 9th circuit in an effort to halt a judicial repeal of the policy.  If such appeal is perfected, it means that the Obama Administration is attempting to keep the policy in place, rather than repeal it as has been stated by Obama to be his goal.  You can read more about that issue, here, including discussion of other cases which were not appealed by the justice department.

Sgt. Alva, in addressing the recent injunction, Obama’s appeal of the decision and the fact that Obama has continued to refuse to sign an executive order ending the policy, stated, “I do not want Obama to sign an executive order, ending don’t ask, don’t tell.”  He went on to explain that, if the president chose to end the policy it would put an end to the discussions; discussions he believes are important in light of the recent and highly publicized LGBT youth suicides.

DADT has been the policy of the United States Military for approximately 17 years.  Prior to implementation of the policy, the military’s policy was simply, you can’t serve if you’re gay.

Marine Staff Sgt. Eric Alva was the first American wounded in the war in Iraq. On March 21, 2003
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Obama, DADT, DOMA and the War on LGBT People.

October 15, 2010 By: jaysays Category: Featured, Thought of the Gay

Official presidential portrait of Barack Obama...
Image via Wikipedia

Lamar Smith (R-TX), a member of the House Judiciary Committee and the U.S. House of Representatives – and my district’s representative – has asked the court to let him, and not the Obama administration’s Department of Justice (DoJ), appeal the ruling in Commonwealth of Massachusetts v. US Dept. of Health and Human Services, et al., striking down key provisions of the unconstitutional Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).  Smith claims that the DoJ, “has clearly let the president’s policy preferences dictate its litigation strategy” and that, “DOMA … should receive a true defense rather than a hollow one designed to pacify political constituents.”  It’s no surprise that Smith’s actions are being supported by the Alliance Defense Fund, an organization of “Christian” lawyers.

But Lamar Smith doesn’t have to intervene.  The DoJ has already filed their appeal in this case indicating that our fierce advocate, President Barack Obama, will continue to defend the legislative acts he feels are unconstitutional.  According to a DoJ spokesperson: Tracy Schmaler, “The Justice Department is defending the statute, as it traditionally does when acts of Congress are challenged.”

And that appears to be exactly what the DoJ has done with the recent ruling and court order declaring the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” (DADT) policy unconstitutional.

At some point, we need to recognize a fact.  There is no legal requirement or duty for the president to defend a statute.  While the DoJ keeps implying it, you’ll note they’ve never said it, because it isn’t true.

In fact, the Justice Department has recently refused to appeal a decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.  That ruling, issued Aug. 6, 2010, declared the regulations forcing individuals or small groups to obtain a permit for First Amendment-protected activities unconstitutional.

So why is it that the man who said: “My attitude is if people are being treated unfairly and unequally, then it needs to be fixed,” and who has been labeled as a fierce advocate of LGBT people, is defending DOMA and DADT?  Is it like Lamar Smith alleges and they aren’t going to defend the laws as aggressively as opponents of equality would hope? Alas, I’m afraid the only answer I have for you is this:

Obama is no Lady Gaga.

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Stupid Things People Say About Gays: Libertarian Party Board Member Says DADT Should Remain

September 27, 2010 By: jaysays Category: Headline, Stupid Things People Say About Gays

Although the Libertarian party has often pressed Congress on the repeal of the military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy, a recent internal email from one of the party’s Board Members, Norm Olsen of Region 4, argues against the repeal, stating that, “The heterosexual soldier has a right to be free from unwanted sexual advances.”  Here’s the full text of his “P.S.” remarks from a copy of the leaked email (all errors his own):

PS> This is written by a Libertarian individual who believes the that the ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy is fine and appropriate.  I realize this will ruffle a whole flock of feathers.  Please hear me out.

My son serves in the military, and is currently deployed in Afghanistan. While joining the military was his choice, the conditions of his deployment are not of his choice.  With whom he is deployed is not his choice.  I suggest that he and all other heterosexuals who have volunteered to serve for whatever reason have a right to be free from unwanted sexual advances. Under normal conditions, he could separate himself from such advances, or physically defend himself from such advances.  Neither is appropriate or applicable in the combat situation; especially under those conditions where his physical safety is in jeopardy; specifically those case where he is dependent upon others for his survival.

The heterosexual soldier has a right to be free from unwanted sexual advances.  It is said that the homosexual has a right to serve his country. In the ‘you and me alone in a foxhole situation’, you have two rights in conflict.  You must solve to the highest level of morality.  In the case of the heterosexual soldier, the morality is ‘I own my own body’.  In the case of the gay soldier, the right is ‘I have a right to serve’.  Which right holds the higher moral ground.  No question in my mind.

The ‘Don’t ask,. don’t tell’ policy is a comprise here.  If non-heterosexual individuals do not exhibit homosexual behavior in military situations, no one cares what their sexual proclivities are.  If, however, they do insist on exhibiting sexual behavior in situations where such is militarily inappropriate, the right to serve loses to the higher moral ground: the right of those in a situation not of their choosing to own their own body. It could very well be that in certain cases this is not the manner in which the ‘Don’t’ ask, don’t tell’ policy is implemented, but improper implementation in certain cases does not invalidate the policy as a whole.

This is simply protecting the rights of the heterosexual soldier to be free from unwanted sexual advances in situations over which the heterosexual soldier has absolutely no choice or control; the only alternative being the firing squad for desertion.  Further, the ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy is fairly liberal.  Homosexuals are free to join the military, serve their country, and to improve their lives using the many benefits offered by the government to those who serve in the military.  Heterosexuals are entitled to the same rights and benefits, without having to give up their right to own their own bodies.

Mr. Olsen’s statements are based upon a lot of assumptions/stereotypes.  For example, he assumes that his son is so attractive to gay men that they cannot resist the urge to continually badger him with sexual advances.  He also stereotypes homosexuals (and in his story he appears to specifically target gay men) by indicating that they will “exhibit homosexual behavior in military situations” because they do not have the ability to control themselves.

Apparently, Mr. Olsen is unaware of the current statistics regarding sexual abuse/assault in the military or that the Department of Defense developed the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program to confront the problems that currently exist.  In fact, U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates made this announcement about sexual assault in the military (even though the U.S. Military doesn’t currently allow openly gay people to serve):

The Department has a no-tolerance policy toward sexual assault. This type of act not only does unconscionable harm to the victim; it destabilizes the workplace and threatens national security.

Now, if Mr. Olsen’s complaints weren’t already a serious problem in our military would Mr. Gates needed to have address the problem?  Would an agency such as the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program need to exist?  No.

In 2009, there were 3,230 reports of sexual assault involving service members.  That’s very nearly 9 assaults per day!  A whopping 89% of all reported cases of sexual assault were made by women in the military, in spite of the fact that women make up only about 20% of the U.S. military.  Of the total reported sexual assaults, only 2% were committed by female personnel.

Education goes a long way Mr. Olsen, discrimination goes nowhere.

To contact Norm Olsen, call (303) 277-9967 or email region4rep@doneDad.com and/or Norman.Olsen@lp.org.

H/T to reader, Brian Miller, for the tip.

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Radical Racist Extremists Infiltrating U.S. Armed Forces – It’s ok… they are straight.

July 27, 2010 By: jaysays Category: Featured, Thought of the Gay

Sometimes, priorities are difficult to establish, particularly when dealing with issues of national security.  For example, when airplanes begin crashing into buildings, it’s sometimes difficult to choose between disappointing a room full of school children by not finishing a story or racing to action to defend whatever attack is happening.

A similar sort of decision was faced by the Obama Administration when forced to choose between having well-trained qualified soldiers serving our country or discharging them under the military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT) policy.  The arguments against repeal of DADT generally revolve around “troop morale.”  The Department of Defense expressed concerns, by way of a survey sent to numerous troops regarding the repeal of DADT, that allowing gay and lesbians soldiers to serve openly in the military would diminish the ability of the military to respond. Apparently, the theory is that heterosexual troops would be so fearful of gays in the shower that they wouldn’t be able to focus on their jobs.

However, it seems that troops serving openly as a fascist, a racist, an anti-Semite or an outright quack is just fine by military standards.  The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) recently sent a letter to Congress expressing its discomfort with the U.S. Military training men and women for combat who are openly anti-Semitic, anti-black or admittedly fascist for fear that such training will breed more domestic terrorists and claiming that such hate-groups are infiltrating the military.

In order to shed light on their concerns, SPLC provided numerous examples of online profiles of military members.  Many revealed a deep hatred for anything “non-White” American.  In order to illustrate my point, I provide examples of statements soldiers make in their online profiles that are not dischargeable offenses, followed by statements that would result in a discharge.

Acceptable Statement in the U.S. Military (no discharge):

I hate illegal immigrants with a passion and feel every true red blooded, white American should do whatever it takes to stop the foreign invasion and protect America and the American way of life so our children can grow up in a pure White America someday. – Click here for quoted profile.

Unacceptable statement in the U.S. Military (dischargable offense):

I’m gay.

Acceptable Statement in the U.S. Military (no discharge):

Dislikes – n*g*ers, Ky*es, Mexicans, I could go on, to [sic] much is detestable in this world right now.  People with no values for family. Race mixers.  – Click here for quoted profile.

Unacceptable statementin the U.S. Military (dischargable offense):

I’m bisexual.

Acceptable Statement in the U.S. Military (no discharge):

[I’m a] Proud White man, twenty six years old and tired of the destruction of our clean white culture and heritage, the poison of black culture in our society, and the illegal invasion of mexico into our sovereign nation.  – Click here for quoted profile.

Unacceptable statement in the U.S. Military (dischargable offense):

I’m a lesbian.

DADT is a witch-hunt policy.  Although the military claims, and even re-emphasized in March, 2010, that the policy was a “Don’t Pursue” policy and would be relaxed, all it takes is a bit of a jab from a third-party and an entire, honorable military career could be shattered.  Also in March, 2010, Jene Newsome, an Air Force Sergeant who played by the rules of DADT and served silently, was outed by police officers in Rapid City, South Dakota.  This wasn’t a case of Jene showing up in the local newspaper being dragged out of a gay nightclub by police as we’ve seen in the past, this was obviously a targeting ploy by the Rapid City Police Department, which after finding Jene Newsome’s marriage license from Iowa, reported her to their local Air Force base.

While Jene hunts for a new job, redefines her career goals and attempts to put her life back in order, a neo-nazi/fascist is serving openly with Jewish soldiers.  Whether that affects the moral of Jewish soldiers is yet to be determined as no study has been conducted.

DADT Survey Focuses on Discrimination Against Gay Service Members and Living Quarters

July 09, 2010 By: jaysays Category: DADT, Featured

"We Will Not Be Silent." Don't Ask Don't Tell ("DADT")The Department of Defense has sent surveys to roughly 400,000 active and reserve service members to obtain information on how a repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell will affect them, their unit and the readiness of our nation’s military.  Of note is the fact that no such survey was done to implement the discriminatory policy.

The survey begins innocuously enough with questions about living quarters for the service member, marital/relationship status, and questions about whether they feel their unit works together as a team.  It doesn’t get into the full meat of the issues until page 10 when the statement is made in blue highlight, “Throughout this survey, “gay and lesbian” and “homosexual” are used interchangeably.”  The first question under this heading gave me a start, “Do you currently serve with a male or female Service member you believe to be homosexual?”  It continues, asking about all the units the Service member has served under with the same question – do you believe someone is gay?  It then goes on to ask how believing such person to be gay affected the unit’s ability to work together, morale and performance.

It was painful for me to get through the survey.  With each question I felt the sting of discrimination, but gained insight into the ideology of why people are so frightened to work with a gay person.  Concerns, as indicated by the survey, range from the inability to hold Service members to high standards in spite of their sexual orientation; the inability to treat Service members equally because of their sexual orientation; the inability to set sexual orientation aside when considering opportunities to be provided to the Service members, etc… etc…

Eventually though, the survey goes to the living quarters issue.  It asks the following question:

If Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell is repealed and you are assigned to share a room, berth or field tent with someone you believe to be a gay or lesbian Service member, which are you most likely to do?

The options provided do not include, “beat the f*ggot;” however, such could be listed under “something else” and filled into a provided blank.

In the end, the survey generally focuses on two issues regarding the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell: (1) will gays serving openly be afforded the same opportunities as heterosexual Service members (i.e. will they face discrimination); and (2) will gays will make heterosexual Service members uneasy?

In response to the first issue, it seems to me that discrimination being condoned by commanding officers, the U.S. Congress and the U.S. President should be our first concern.  Once the discrimination is no longer sanctioned by the government, we can then confront the social and intra-rank aspects.

As to the second point, I invoke Estelle Gette’s character, Sophia, from the Golden Girls:  Picture it, Afghanistan, 2010.  An improvised explosive device has just charred dozens of innocent people on the street.  Three soldiers run to assist the wounded, carry them off for treatment and contain the scene.  They are exhausted, emotionally drained, a wreck… yet the gay soldier, all he can think about is getting back to the barracks so that he can check out the homophobic Service member’s tiny man part in the shower… yeah, that makes sense.

The full text of the survey can be found here.

Stupid Things People Say About Gays, “I Just Can’t Work With F*gs.”

July 09, 2010 By: jaysays Category: Featured, Stupid Things People Say About Gays

If you follow gay news as much as I do, you’ve likely been overwhelmed with the plethora of happy endings happening all over the country: New York state passed anti-bullying legislation; in the Gill case, the Federal Court ruled that Section 3 of DOMA is unconstitutional; two proteins were isolated that makes a cure for HIV/AIDS much less fantasy and much more plausible; the Today Show caved to pressure to remove the heterosexuals only rule from it’s Modern Wedding Contest; and those wacky Presbyterians might let gays be clergy and have sex too! All of this was enough to cause my head to spin in circles while trying to pick the next blog post.

But one headline caught my attention that wasn’t happy news.  The “HK bar Bull Moose Saloon” in New York City, which recently re-opened as a gay bar, suddenly suffered a set-back when one of the investors (and owner),  decided he couldn’t work with gays.  While it’s possible that the brilliance of homosexuals made him feel inferior as a businessman, the owner’s banishment of gay clientele and the gay investors was much more likely the result of his own homosexuality. (Ok, I admit I’m stretching it there – but not much).

According to a “friend of a friend” styled blog posting over at the Village Voice, Dave Sheeran, the owner in question, locked out the gay investor initially claiming that he didn’t expect the bar to be so loud; however, according to the linked blog, Sheeran later admitted, “I just can’t work with f*gs.”  It’s outrageous, isn’t it?  To think that in 2010 a New York City bar owner would make such a declaration about who he can and cannot work with?  However, comments on the blog call into question the truth of the story as Sheeran has not responded to inquiries.  Now, we can tolerate the news, can’t we?  It may not be true so it seems easier to swallow.

Whether or not Dave Sheeran made these comments, we should be outraged, but not just by Dave Sheeran.  We should be outraged that the United State’s number one employer stamps “I just can’t work with f*gs,” into law and fired 428 employees in 2009 because of their sexual orientation.  I’m referring, of course, to the U.S. Military.  The Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy does exactly what Sheeran has allegedly done.  It denies gays and lesbians employment because of their sexual orientation based on the theory of “I just can’t work” with the gays.  Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton (who’s administration implemented the discriminatory policy) have all declared, “I just can’t work with f*gs,” by allowing it to remain policy.

We’ve also been fighting for a fully inclusive employment non-discrimination act.  Many have declared ENDA dead, but others are refusing to give up the fight.  This piece of legislation would, if we can get it out of the legislative black hole, protect people like Sheeran’s investors from being discriminated against based solely on their sexual orientation.  The roughly 26% of Americans who remain critical of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (“ENDA”) argue that sexual orientation and gender identity are choices and not protection of a class of people.  However the current ENDA already protects based upon many “suspect class” identifiers, including religion.

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2010 – The Year of the Lesbian Parent.

June 14, 2010 By: jaysays Category: Discrimination, Featured

Cathy McMorris Rodgers (Rep.-WA)Cathy McMorris-Rodgers (Rep-WA) voted no on the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, also more formally known as the Patrick Amendment to H.R. 5136, which would repeal the discriminatory policy banning openly gay service members from defending freedom and equality.  In fact, Rep. McMorris-Rodgers has only supported 3% of progressive actions, but has supported, either through voting or co-sponsorship, 61% of legislation which is considered “regressive” – or rather that which, “erodes freedom, knowledge and security.”   Here are a few examples of her regressive legislation support:

  • Amendment 35 to H.R. 2647 was proposed to counter the current push to cover-up American military and interrogation activities. Amendment 35 would require military interrogations to be videotaped, with an exception provided at times when there may not be time to set up a camera.  Cathy McMorris-Rodger’s voted against this measure.
  • H.R. 11, also known as The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act is a bill that simply says that workers cannot be expected to file suit for compensation for wage discrimination before they actually find out that they have been discriminated against.  Cathy McMorris-Rodger’s voted against this measure.
  • H.R. 2608, was introduced after the government of Washington, DC voted to approve same-sex marriage in the District of Columbia. H.R. 2608 seeks to overturn the local decision of DC government by imposing a congressional prohibition on same-sex marriage in Washington, DC. Cathy McMorris-Rodgers co-sponsored this discriminatory legislation.

Here’s an expression I’m sure you’ve heard, “A wolf in sheep’s clothing.”  Cathy McMorris-Rodgers has now sponsored a bill, which on its surface appears acceptable, simple and certainly non-controversial.  But when you read the text of the bill, you find a phrase that can be very disturbing, particularly to same-sex couples with children.

H. Con. Res. 285 was introduced to recognize the important role that fathers play in the lives of their children and families and to support the goals and ideals of designating 2010 as the Year of the Father.  Sounds fairly benign, right?  But what are the goals and ideals of designating 2010 as the Year of the Father?  From the text of the bill, we find this statement:

Whereas it is well documented that children involved with loving fathers are significantly more likely to have healthy self-esteems, exhibit empathy and prosocial behavior, avoid high risk behaviors, have reduced antisocial behavior and delinquency in boys, have better peer relationships, and have higher occupational mobility relative to parents…

Anyone else see the problem? Isn’t it also well documented that Lesbian mothers are better at raising children to be more self-confident, do better academically and are even LESS likely to have behavioral problems?  In fact, here’s what TIME reported on the research:

The authors found that children raised by lesbian mothers — whether the mother was partnered or single — scored very similarly to children raised by heterosexual parents on measures of development and social behavior. These findings were expected, the authors said; however, they were surprised to discover that children in lesbian homes scored higher than kids in straight families on some psychological measures of self-esteem and confidence, did better academically and were less likely to have behavioral problems, such as rule-breaking and aggression. ‘We simply expected to find no difference in psychological adjustment between adolescents reared in lesbian families and the normative sample of age-matched controls,’ says [researcher Nanette] Gartrell. ‘I was surprised to find that on some measures we found higher levels of [psychological] competency and lower levels of behavioral problems. It wasn’t something I anticipated.’ In addition, children in same-sex-parent families whose mothers ended up separating, did as well as children in lesbian families in which the moms stayed together.

So, here’s to 2010 – the Year of the Lesbian Parent.

LGBT Lessons for Straight People: What Do You Tell A Seven Year Old About Homosexuality?

June 14, 2010 By: geekgirl Category: Headline, LGBT Lessons for Straight People

Representative Ike Skelton from Missouri is against the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell (“DADT”), which bans service in the military by openly gay people, because he doesn’t want to open a national dialogue about homosexuality. Specifically, he doesn’t want to have to force families to explain homosexuality to their children. Setting aside the absurdity that repealing DADT will come up at the dinner table with our children, let’s talk about the real issue here. Homo-ignorance.

Was there ever a moment in the LGBT movement more perfect than this for Geekgirl to speak out?

Mr. Skelton sounds like he is, what I call, homo-ignorant. Let’s be honest here and take off the politics. A lot of straight people don’t know what to say to their children about gays, lesbians, bisexuals or transgender individuals. Heck, many of them don’t know what to say about straight relationships.

We’ll talk about what to say. But first a little story. When I was in 5th grade I watched two boys fighting and one of them said the word fuck. I didn’t know what it meant. Being the straight A student that I was, I turned to my dictionary. No word. So I asked my mother. She slapped me across the face and sent me to my room without an answer. I remember sitting there thinking, “hmm, whatever this word means, it must be good because it has power.”  My parents never told me about sex. Imagine my horror when my best friend told me that sperm go into your stomach through your belly button and that is how you get pregnant. She never did say where the sperm came from.

The point of that little story is that parents don’t know what to do when they feel uncomfortable. Having grown up to be a biologist, I was determined not to make that mistake with my own children. When my son was born, I read a lot about how and when to explain sex and sexuality to a child. I wanted my son to grow up healthy – both physically and psychologically when it came to sex. I remember when our son was four years old. He knew that my friend Sandra liked girls. She didn’t have a partner at the time, but I had already explained this to him. I remember he said to me, “So, it’s ok if girls love other girls?”

I said, “Of course, love is important.”

His answer came in the form of a four year old experiencing relief, “That’s good. Because I love Sandra and I want her to be happy.” I’m proud to say that Sandra and Kim have been part of our family’s life to this day. They adore our son and he adores them.

Explaining gays and lesbians to a 7 year old can be this simple. Some people are born attracted to the same sex. Two girls can feel the same love for each other that a girl and a boy can. The same is true for two boys. Love is love. Children instinctively understand love and family. It makes them feel safe.

People have a tendency to make sexual orientation about sex acts. But do we ever explain straight couples this way to our children? “Well, Johnny, meet your Aunt Sue and Uncle Bob from California. You haven’t met them before. They are married. And when they have sex, Uncle Bob puts his penis inside Auntie Sue’s vagina. Oh Bob, do you also have oral sex?” Of course we don’t explain it that way. That’s absurd.

So, am I saying don’t explain how gay people have sex?  Children do need to know about the physical acts of sex. Part of that conversation must include preventing pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, how sex and sexuality affect us psychologically. Children need to know about “bad touches,” respecting and being respected.

But if you never talk about gay sex, it’s fine. That isn’t what they need to learn from you. They need to learn that all humans, all couples, experience love. They need to learn that commitment and respect are very important in all relationships. Our children are not born with prejudice or discomfort. It is learned.

jaysays.com contributor geekgirlgeekgirl: Jude, the author of this post, is a straight woman, a mom and has been married for 32 years to the same wonderful man. She believes in Buddhism and attends the United Church of Christ. She is a molecular biologist, her best friend is a lesbian, and she believes that every human deserves equal rights, respect and a life free from hate, fear and discrimination. The only thing she hates is pickles. Her science blog can be found at LGBT Latest Science.  More of LGBT Lessons for Straight People can be found here.

Stupid Things People Say About Gays: Repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is “Forcible Sodomy”

May 14, 2010 By: jaysays Category: Featured, Stupid Things People Say About Gays

In 2008, the House Armed Service personnel subcommittee held the first hearing since 1993 on the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy which discriminates against openly gay/lesbian military persons.

During her testimony at the hearing, Elaine Donnelly, President of the Center for Military Readiness, invoked the argument against a repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell we hear all too often – that a repeal would result in :”exotic forms of sexual expression”, “forcible sodomy” and declaring a repeal would lead to a “sexualized atmosphere.”

In her written statement to the House Armed Services Committee, Donnelly wrote:

When a female soldier reports an incident of sexual harassment or abuse, she enjoys the presumption of truthfulness. But under the new civil rights standard, if a male soldier reports an incident of homosexual harassment or abuse, he will face the suspicion, if not the presumption, of unacceptable attitudes toward fellow soldiers who are gay.

Since charges of harassment will be met with counter charges of “bigotry” or “homophobic bullying,” heterosexuals whose values are violated will hesitate to file complaints, lest they be suspected and probably accused of attitudes that violate the new “zero tolerance” policy, favoring homosexuals in the military.

In messy, emotionally-charged disputes such as this, commanders themselves will be accused of homophobic attitudes if they take the side of the heterosexual person over the homosexual one. Who is bullying whom? In close quarters it wouldn’t matter—the effect on unit cohesion would be the same.

The first problem with Ms. Donnelly’s statements, which are echoed still today in arguments against the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, is that she’s ignored the fact that female soldiers do not enjoy the presumption of truth.  In a 2004 report, the Denver Post found that some 200,000 women were sexually assaulted while serving in the armed forces. In 2006, there were 2,974 cases of rape and sexual assault in the services and only 292 of those cases went to a military trial.  According to the group, STAAAMP, over 40 U.S. Generals, Admirals and Colonels have been given immunity by U.S. Courts for serious criminal sexual behavior.  Presumption of truth, Ms. Donnelly?  It seems not.

The second problem with her argument is that she implies that a heterosexual person who has been raped by someone of the same sex would not come forward for fear of being labeled a bigot.  While it’s true that many victims of rape or sexual abuse do not come forward, the idea that the fear of being labeled “anti-gay” stayed their voice is ludicrous.  According to the 2005 National Crime Victimization Survey, only 38 percent of rapes and sexual assaults were reported to law enforcement officials.  Thus, a staggering 63% went unreported.  In many of these cases, victims felt that their reputations would be tarnished and that they would be blamed for the attack against them. One rape victim described her fear of coming forward this way:

It would be my word against his. It was something I’d rather not have to deal with while I was in college. All my friends all believed me. I didn’t know if the police would. I didn’t know if the school would.

In her third point, Donnelly suggests that Commanders would be subjected to being homophobic if they prosecuted a rape case against a gay service member.  This is another ludicrous allegation with no supporting facts and is clearly an effort to blame the victim or prosecutor, rather than the perpetrator.

The lies and fear from the opposition are spreading.  They are desperate to hide their prejudices in tangled, twisted logic that will appeal to the masses.  No outlandish claim or lie is too far for these people as they must defend their right to hate without saying their truth, that they just don’t like gay people.  The repeal of laws against people based solely upon individual characteristics is the “right” path and we will succeed.  Even those opposed to equality know this, and they are afraid.

For additional information on rape and sexual assault in the military, I direct you to the following resource: Refusing Rape.

NOTE: For more of the column, Stupid Things People Say About Gays, click here.

n 2008, the House Armed Service personnel subcommittee held the first hearing since 1993 on the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy which discriminates against openly gay/lesbian military persons.

During her testimony at the hearing, Elaine Donnelly, President of the Center for Military readiness, invoked the argument against a repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell we hear all too often – that a repeal would result in :”exotic forms of sexual expression”, “forcible sodomy” and declaring a repeal would lead to a “sexualized atmosphere.”

In her written statement to the House Armed Services Committee, Donnelly wrote:

“When a female soldier reports an incident of sexual harassment or abuse, she enjoys the presumption of truthfulness. But under the new civil rights standard, if a male soldier reports an incident of homosexual harassment or abuse, he will face the suspicion, if not the presumption, of unacceptable attitudes toward fellow soldiers who are gay.

Since charges of harassment will be met with counter charges of “bigotry” or “homophobic bullying,” heterosexuals whose values are violated will hesitate to file complaints, lest they be suspected and probably accused of attitudes that violate the new “zero tolerance” policy, favoring homosexuals in the military.

In messy, emotionally-charged disputes such as this, commanders themselves will be accused of homophobic attitudes if they take the side of the heterosexual person over the homosexual one. Who is bullying whom? In close quarters it wouldn’t matter—the effect on unit cohesion would be the same.”

The first problem with Ms. Donnelly’s statements, which are echoed still today in arguments against the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, is that she’s ignored the fact that female soldiers do not enjoy the presumption of truth. In a 2004 report, the Denver Post found that some 200,000 women were sexually assaulted while serving in the armed forces. In 2006, there were 2,974 cases of rape and sexual assault in the services and only 292 of those cases went to a military trial. According to the group, STAAAMP, over 40 U.S. Generals, Admirals and Colonels have been given immunity by U.S. Courts for serious criminal sexual behavior. Presumption of truth, Ms. Donnelly? It seems not.

The second problem with her argument is that she implies that a heterosexual person who has been raped by someone of the same sex would not come forward for fear of being labeled a bigot. While it’s true that many victims of rape or sexual abuse do not come forward, the idea that the fear of being labeled “anti-gay” stayed their voice is ludicrous. According to the 2005 National Crime Victimization Survey, only 38 percent of rapes and sexual assaults were reported to law enforcement officials. Thus, a staggering 63% went unreported. In many of these cases, victims felt that their reputations would be tarnished and that they would be blamed for the attack against them. One rape victim described her fear of coming forward this way:

“It would be my word against his. It was something I’d rather not have to deal with while I was in college. All my friends all believed me. I didn’t know if the police would. I didn’t know if the school would.”

In her third point, Donnelly suggests that Commanders would be subjected to being homophobic if they prosecuted a rape case against a gay service member. This is another ludicrous allegation with no supporting facts and is clearly an effort to blame the victim or prosecutor, rather than the perpetrator.

The lies and fear from the opposition are spreading. They are desperate to hide their prejudices in tangled, twisted logic that will appeal to the masses. No outlandish claim or lie is too far for these people as they must defend their right to hate without saying their truth, that they just don’t like gay people. The repeal of laws against people based solely upon individual characteristics is the “right” path and we will succeed. Even those opposed to equality know this, and they are afraid.

For additional information on rape and sexual assault in the military, I direct you to the following resource: Refusing Rape.